Together with Paul, a parent of a young trans woman, I recently got an invite from an LGBT+ group based in Kirklees in West Yorkshire to meet with the trans kids in their group together with their parents.
Last night was the big night, and Paul and I Zoomed in at 6:45 for an introduction and then a chat. Split then into two groups, kids into one group, parents into the other; I spoke to the kids first while Paul went off into the parents' group. Halfway through, we swapped groups.
I had never done support work before - well, not on this scale anyway, but it was a great experience for me and one that I would certainly repeat.
The kids wanted to know what it was like growing up as a kid, not knowing I was trans as such but knowing I was different - and not knowing who to turn to for help.
Of course, there was no internet; the best I could do was find the odd question and reply in an agony aunt column in a Sunday newspaper - often "The Sunday People" or "News of the World." The norm was a question like this: "I got home from work early, and I caught my husband wearing my dress and lippy; I am distraught. What should I do?" The reply was often like, get him to seek help from the Beaumont Society or go to his GP.
These days - boom!
The internet has the answers that that is why there are more and more kids coming out.
They see being trans as normal and want to put a stake in the ground and claim their "trans place." They dont want to suffer decades of unhappiness like other trans folk have done in the past. My main message to them was dont get wound up because you are trans, and if they dont get blockers, it will not stop them from being trans. To live a life true to yourself, not throw stones and to be proud of being trans.
In total, there were about fourteen kids, but many more parents - probably forty or more.
And what beautiful people they are - supporting their kids. Yes, they were the odd tear - "Why is my kid trans - is it something I did" but in the main, they accepted being trans was just diversity.
They were prepared to support their kids come what may - they wanted their kids to be happy. I gave them a brief history of myself and then answered loads of questions. I was just so glad that I could help.
One parent within the group I had spoken to previously.
Her name is Lisa, and her sixteen-year-old child has been caught up in the Keira Bell case's backwash - her GP suddenly withdrawing support because they went the GenderGP route. With a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the meds in the cupboard, the GP decided they would no longer help in any way.
What did I recommend? Well, there is not much of a choice, is there? You either stop the medication or self-med.
So much for wise judges and those who have campaigned for this.
Perhaps next time the judges might want to speak to Lisa? - I have an idea Lisa, her husband and her daughter would like to tell you something that you failed to hear in the courtroom.
Parents and kids.